ISO 26262: A Pain in the ASIL
July 18, 2022
There is an ever-widening range of automotive electrical and/or electronic (E/E/PE) systems such as adaptive driver assistance systems, anti-lock braking systems, steering and airbags. Their increasing levels of integration and connectivity provide almost as many challenges as their proliferation, with non-critical systems such as entertainment systems sharing the same communications infrastructure as steering, braking and control systems. The net result is a necessity for exacting functional safety development processes, from requirements specification, design, implementation, integration, verification, validation, and through to configuration.
ISO 26262 “Road vehicles – Functional safety” was updated in 20181, having first been published in 20112 in response to this explosion in automotive E/E/PE system complexity and the associated risks to public safety3. Like the rail, medical device and process industries before it, the automotive sector based their functional standard on the (largely) industry agnostic functional safety standard IEC 615084 which, in turn, drew heavily from the guiding principles of the aerospace standards such as DO-178B5/C6. The net result is that proven tools are available to help with the implementation of ISO 26262 which are longer established than the standard itself.